A few weeks ago a prospective customer requested an offer for a solar energy project. Because she liked my ‘visual language’. Great! However, a couple of days later she called me and asked: No, sorry, you are an analog photographer. We need TIFF or JPEG files.
Oooooops? After digging deeper it turned out she is around 30. A child of the digital ‘automatic-everything’ generation. She had some weird associations in her mind: if the buzzword ‘digital’ is not mentioned, it is not photography. That knocked me off.
So I explained her what I am doing and how the process is. Talked about the advantages of having a slide for archival purposes, about high resolution scanning, technical advantages and all the nine yards. Until she said: Well, but you can’t control what you have shot on location. Bingo! Can you imagine that she really believed you can control an image on a lousy and shabby cigarette pack size display, control the color transitions in the sun under bright daylight conditions?
I continued to inform her about a ground glass [ which has the size of 9×12 centimeters (4×5 inch) or 6×9 centimeters (2 ½x 3 ½ inch), depending on the film format you’ll use ]. Told her that this is a ‘display’ that’s far superior to a monitor in terms of resolution, detail and light conditions. She listened. Then I talked about the size of a sensor compared to the size of a medium and large format slide — the ‘analog sensor’. Compared resolutions of the capturing media (see my article – currently only in German, but with excellent visuals – here). It was a completely new world for her…
As sad as it is, I’ve learned my lesson as well. Now I include the buzzwords ‘digital’, ‘MegaPixels’, TIFF and JPEG in my offers. The result: some people call me and ask if I’ve made a typo: there is no digital camera with a 120 MegaPixel sensor! And an image size of 12.900 x 8.600 pixels definitely doesn’t exist.
True, not on the digital side, but a scanned slide delivers this image size @ 48bit color depth.
Amazing how the marketing of the Asian manufacturers changed the perception of a whole generation, craft and industry. Amazing how they declassify other [ proven! ] imaging processes by calling ‘sensors glued to a plastic japanese rice bowl’ a camera.
[ black beauty: one of my precision tools from Arca Swiss ]
— photograph © 1999-2010 by jens g.r. benthien —